2012 EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS AWARDS
SEVEN STAND ABOVE
The Newport County Chamber of Commerce presented the 2012 Excellence In Business Awards during a breakfast on May 7 at the Newport Officers’ Club, attended by more than 200 members of the local business community. Alex & Ani’s owner and designer Carolyn Rafaelian and CEO Giovanni Feroce were the keynote speakers.
The seven honorees knew only that they were among a number of nominees; the winners were announced during the breakfast.
For the first time in the six-year history of the awards, a new category, Medium Business, was recognized this year.
The winners were:
Micro-Business: Newport County Dinner Club.
Small Business: Newport Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.
Medium Business: Tallulah on Thames.
Large Business: Hotel Viking.
Woman-Owned Business: Greenvale Vineyards.
Entrepreneur of the Year: Newport Biodiesel.
Non-Profit of the Year: Child & Family.
This year’s winners were selected from 25 nominations in seven categories by a committee made up of volunteers from the chamber’s Member Services and Ambassadors committees. Business innovation, customer service, growth, industry leadership, community service and other local, regional and national recognition were among the factors weighed by the committee.
“What makes Newport County such a special place is the incredible diversity of our business community,” said Jody Sullivan, executive director of the chamber. “Each of these businesses exemplifies excellence in their categories and each are actively investing in our local community and economy. We are proud to have them as members and to be able to recognize their accomplishments.”
The Excellence In Business Awards are sponsored by Carey, Richmond & Viking Insurance and The Newport Daily News, which highlights the winners today with profiles provided by the chamber.
WOMAN-OWNED BUSINESS: GREENVALE VINEYARDS
Greenvale Vineyards is a boutique farm winery located along the Sakonnet River in Portsmouth. The farm, which is listed on the state and national Register of Historic Places, has been growing grapes for 30 years, making wine for 20 years and has been open for tours and tastings, concerts and special events since 1999.
The farm has been in the same family since 1863.
In 1982, Cortlandt and Nancy Parker embarked on taking their interest in wine and vineyards from a hobby to a commercial operation. Greenvale started as a grower for Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton. There was clearly development pressure in Portsmouth and the Parkers were interested in maintaining the farm as a commercial enterprise and not succumbing to the development pressure. By 1990, Greenvale proved to be a fantastic site for growing grapes.
Aquidneck Island’s 18th century reputation as “the Eden of America” still proves true in the 21st century. It also is clear that growing grapes is labor intensive and expensive at the smallvineyard scale, so with their daughter Nancy Parker Wilson and son-in-law William Wilson, the Parkers took Greenvale from a vineyard to a winery where they could produce and sell wine.
Greenvale promotes historic preservation and the conservation of open space as well as providing a scenic venue for people to visit. Greenvale is a leader in the development of vineyard practices and the production of world-class wines from the East Coast. The restored stable is a successful example of adaptive reuse.
Through the production and sale of its wines, Greenvale provides recreation and education to its visitors as it continues to protect the land.
ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR: NEWPORT BIODIESEL
Since 2006, Newport Biodiesel has been recycling used cooking oil into clean-burning biodiesel fuel that can be used in any diesel engine. Founder Nat Harris began making biodiesel in his basement with a makeshift processor and donated cooking oil from a handful of local restaurants. Six years later, Newport Biodiesel has expanded to become the largest biodiesel producer in New England.
With more than 1,000 restaurant partners in Southern New England, Newport Biodiesel is a major used cooking oil collection service provider in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Every gallon of collected cooking oil is converted to biodiesel in the company’s Connell Highway production facility. Local oil distributors deliver the biodiesel to heat local homes and businesses and power vehicles and other equipment. By encouraging local use of its biodiesel, Newport Biodiesel aims to keep the environmental benefits of biodiesel close to home.
Biodiesel burns 78 percent cleaner than conventional diesel fuel.
That means that in 2012 alone, fuel produced by Newport Biodiesel will offset more than 17 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Biodiesel also burns considerably cleaner in terms of exhaust emissions, such as particulate matter and sulfates, that directly impact local air quality.
Newport Biodiesel aims to deliver exceptional service to all of its restaurant partners while also providing a significant benefit to the local community and environment.
NON-PROFIT OF THE YEAR: CHILD & FAMILY
Child & Family’s long history of service to Newport County residents has evolved and grown substantially during the past 146 years. Founded as a volunteer effort in 1866 in the wake of the Civil War to provide care for orphaned children and children of destitute families, Child & Family has maintained a vision of a community that accepts responsibility for those in need. The Child & Family mission is to strengthen families, their members and the communities in which they live. As our community’s needs have changed, Child & Family’s services, and its approach to working within the community, has changed and has grown to include unique partnerships, collaborations and specialized community services. Yet its commitment to Newport County residents and families remains strong.
Today, with more than 250 employees and as many active community volunteers, Child & Family has programs supporting almost every service need an individual or family may have, including: Sandpipers Early Learning Center for infants to preschool aged children; teenage support programs; behavioral health and counseling services to support individuals with mental health, substance abuse, psychiatric or family issues; residential treatment homes for children and teens; supportive housing for homeless mothers with children; a comprehensive array of family support and outreach programs; and homemaker, home health aide and case management services for elders.
Child & Family also has employees working within the Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth public schools to support substance abuse prevention. In addition to programs and services for Newport County residents, Child & Family provides best-practice training to other nonprofit organizations in the community through its Newport Initiative for Nonprofit Leadership.
MICRO- BUSINESS: NEWPORT COUNTY DINNER CLUB
The Newport County Dinner Club is a membership club that celebrates the pleasures of local dining. The club was established in 1989 by David and Nancy Rosenberg to encourage Newport County residents to support local dining establishments particularly in what used to be referred to as the “off season.”
As a small business, the Newport County Dinner Club works hard throughout the year to unite local restaurants and residents with unique dining experiences while restaurants are given the opportunity to showcase their specialties that vary in style, taste and cuisine, including Japanese, Spanish, Middle Eastern and traditional New England fare.
Customers can explore worldly eats without ever leaving Newport County.
This year, the Newport County Dinner Club is celebrating its 23rd anniversary and recently marked its 4,000th member.
The club is a leader in its industry because the nature of its business and uniqueness to Newport County. The club is the only one that connects Aquidneck Island residents with local businesses, servicing both ends at the same time.
The Newport County Dinner Club is an active participant in the community throughout the entire year. Besides lending exposure to local eateries, the club benefits nonprofit organizations and local schools throughout the year with extensive fundraising efforts.
Named “the area’s premier dining program,” the Newport County Dinner Club has been featured in a variety of local newspapers and has been applauded by Money Magazine and described as a “great investment.”
MEDIUM BUSINESS: TALLULAH ON THAMES
Tallulah on Thames is committed to sourcing seasonal market-driven ingredients highlighting local farms and artisans to create a genuine and delightful dining experience.
The space at 464 Thames St. in Newport provides a historic charm with American cuisine in a bistro setting to entertain guests and share an intimate dinner with family and friends. Chef Jake Rojas and his culinary team create and execute a menu that changes according to season and availability of products on a daily basis.
Yankee Magazine awarded Tallulah’s the best “Deconstructed Clam Chowdah” of 2011, the Mercury named the “Tallulah Burger” as the most absurdly delicious creation in the city, and The New York Times named it as one of the restaurants to dine at while in Newport. In 2012, Tallulah on Thames was one of Edible Rhody’s Local Hero Winners.
In addition to offering special events and seasonal menus, Tallulah’s participates in local farmers markets, serving tacos.
Tallulah’s team is committed to creating a welcoming atmosphere, having the utmost appreciation for each guest, maintaining a keen sense of detail and being proud to be in the hospitality industry.
SMALL BUSINESS: NEWPORT FAMILY & COSMETIC DENTISTRY
Before he graduated from University of Maryland’s dental school in 2001, Nathan Tilman had a vision of being able to offer highquality dental care to his patients in a state-of-theart, modern and relaxing setting. Newport Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, which moved to 136 Broadway in Newport in October 2011, is a leader in the dental industry, from the use of digital technologies to cutting-edge office design concepts that make it feel more like a posh spa than a dental office.
Newport Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers a vast variety of dental treatments using the most advanced technology available, and is able to address virtually all of its patients’ treatment needs, from basic general dentistry such as fillings, crowns, dentures and cleanings, to more advanced care such as root canal treatment, dental implants, whitening, Invisalign clear braces, and many cosmetic dental treatments.
The most unique aspect of Newport Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, however, is the use of CEREC technology for same-day crowns, inlays and onlays. The CAD/CAM system makes it possible to have a crown made in one visit (usually a two- to three-visit process stretched out over two weeks) without the need for a temporary crown or messy impressions, saving his patients significant time.
Dr. Tilman also uses digital radiography allows dental x-rays to be taken using 80 percent less radiation, providing safety and convenience to his patients without using developing chemicals.
Dr. Tilman lectures regionally on the advantages of dental technology and how to incorporate technology into a dental office. He and his team believe that a comfortable environment, efficient treatment and personal attention are vitally important to a successful dental practice.
LARGE BUSINESS: HOTEL VIKING
Standing tall and proud on Bellevue Avenue, the Hotel Viking has been a vital and productive member of the Newport business community for more than 85 years.
A member of Historic Hotels of America, the hotel certainly is part of the city’s history, spanning back to the Gilded Age of Newport. There have been many renovations over the years, but the latest multi-million-dollar update brought the hotel back to the luxurious style of the Progressive Era. Guests’ reactions have been overwhelmingly positive as they enjoy the historical ambiance and modern amenities.
In 2011, the Viking welcomed 50,458 people to the hotel and the Newport business community.
The Hotel Viking was one of the first hotels in Rhode Island to be green certified by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association. The hotel is committed to the implementation of proactive measures to help protect the local, national and global environment. The hotel also has been recognized in many online reviews and on travel blogs for its outstanding customer service.
The Hotel Viking always has been involved in the local and regional communities.
Each year, it donates about 250 certificates for charitable organizations to raffle at their fundraisers, totaling $85,000 to $100,000.
The Hotel Viking always has been an integral part of the Newport business community. High volume sales, a charitable giving program, technology leaders and green initiatives help to make the Hotel Viking an asset to Newport.
Copyright © 2012 Edward A. Sherman Publishing Co. 05/19/2012